Heart-to-Heart Connection

To inspire and be inspired!

I’m Spending My Kids’ Inheritence

How would you respond to this bumper sticker — “Right on!” or “How selfish!”

Billionaire Warren Buffett will say “Right on!” every time.  Why?

“In life, you’re not entitled to a free ride.” ”Money or life?  I chose life.” “Life is what you make it .”

Do you know of a family or two who no longer speak to one another after fighting over their inheritance?  If parents leave nothing, children may resent mom and dad.  So what?!  They’re already at a much better place.  Resent all you want.

More importantly, families who continue to inhabit the land of the living will have an ongoing relationship — birthday parties, Thanksgiving dinners, and all that jazz!

“Give enough [to your children] but not enough to do nothing.”

Mr. Buffet, you are brilliant!

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July 11, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Education, Family, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Holidays, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Money, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Stress | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrate Your Independence!

Dear Independents,

Did you know we can vote in the primary as well as the midterm election without changing our “Independent” status (to Democrat or Republican)?  For more information, Arizona’s Pima County residents, click here.  Call 520-740-4330, listen to the brief recording, press 1, then 7.  Early ballots will be mailed out on July 29 — plenty of time for August 24’s Primary Election.

Americans, contact your local election center.  Every voice counts.  Vote!  Vote!  Vote!

July 4, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Change, Citizen, Collaboration, Education, Freedom, Mind, Politics, Purpose, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teachers Work 30 Hours Per Week?

What crosses your mind when you hear the word teacher?  Employees who work 30 hours per week, 9 months out of the year?

One 36-year-veteran disagrees.   “Teaching a first-grade class is similar to hosting a birthday party from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. What would you do to engage and inform a group of 25 or more six and seven-year-olds for over six hours, day after day, 180 days out of the year?”

Do teachers simply show up for work everyday — no lesson plans, no materials, no tests, no home/school communication letters — walk in and out with their students?

What would we do?  How would we engage a classroom full of students for more than six hours each day?  🙂

 

May 16, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Change, Education, Gratitude, Mind, Purpose | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Realize BIG Dreams! Realize the Impossible!

“Don’t tell me the sky is the limit.  There are footprints on the moon!” (Unknown)

Dream!  Aspire!  Humanity at its best! 🙂

 

May 9, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Business, Change, Collaboration, Dream, History, Leadership, Marketing, Passion, Purpose, Success, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiring Dynamic, Creative, Caring, Ethical Managers!

Here’s an organization to die for — managers who empower employees!  Love to meet this person some day!

CHARACTER

  • Fair, not nice. Managers must make tough decisions. Managers require vision and integrity — the courage to do the right thing. The best working environments are those where employees are treated fairly.  Employees know what is expected and know the consequences of their actions; both good and bad. No favorites, no double standards. Managers are leaders. Managers aren’t friends. Find friendships outside of the workplace.
  • Hire people who are smarter than you. Smart employees will help you succeed. They will make you look good. Establish the objectives and let them do their jobs. Don’t micromanage. Don’t be jealous. Don’t hold them back. Listen to their ideas. Your employees may know more than you.
  • Take calculated risks. Risk taking is part of management. “No decision” is a decision.  “No decision” will frustrate employees. You will lose respect. Do your homework.  Trust your gut. It’s usually right.
  • Never fire anyone when angry. Anger is a strong emotion. Emotion obstructs rational thinking. A cool head leads to logical thought — the right time for decision making.

TEAM BUILDING

  • Create a team of mentors. Find people who are capable of helping;  willing to help you succeed. Mentors watch out for your interests.  They understand your goals.
  • Encourage disagreements, discussions, and debates. “Two heads are better than one.” Go with the best solution, not always your solution; otherwise, you may be out of a job.
  • Know how to manage different personalities. Learn how to communicate with your employees. Different people react differently to discussions; some you can be direct with, others require more tact. Personality profiles can help match a person to a specific job.

COMMUNICATION

  • Clear expectations. Clearly communicate employee’s responsibilities and manager’s expectations. Perceptions vary. Success begins with everyone on the same page.
  • Know the desired outcome of the resolution. What is the best possible solution? Be rational. With the desired outcome in mind, determine the necessary steps to reach the goal.
  • Confront bad issues immediately. Bad situations don’t go away. They only get worse. Immediately talk to the offender. Communicate, “This cannot happen again.”
  • Praise in public. Punish in private. Humans are emotional, not rational. Save face.
  • Say “Thank You.” Your success is dependent on your team members’ success. Say “thank you” and sincerely appreciate their hard work. They are your support structure. Without them, you may not survive. Saying “thank you” is one of the easiest and most appreciated actions.  (Full Story) 

March 28, 2010 Posted by | America, Art, Attitude, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Introspection, Leadership, Mind, Purpose, Self Help, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Philanthropy: The Difference Between Enabling and Empowerment

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.  (Chinese Proverb) 

Over the years, billions of dollars in aid have poured from the developed to developing nations.  Yet 80 percent of our world’s population live on less than $10 per day.

Why?

Perhaps one answer to this complicated issue may lie in enabling — temporary relief — not empowerment.  

Temporary reliefs are handouts.  They’re necessary, especially in life or death situations.  Basic needs — shelter, food, and water — must be met before improving lives. Once immediate needs are met, however, should additional donations continue to simply feed and clothe its recipients?

Are such acts of “kindness” empowering the people or are handouts in the name of “donations” degrading creative minds and resilient spirits into beggars and dependents?

In The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back, the Salwens sold their house and gave away $800,000 to the Hunger Project in Ghana; to equip and empower its people to take back their lives and become self-sufficient:

(Click for video)

We go back into the villages of Ghana [where my family and I invested our funds], and this time the chief hands us a list of things they have accomplished.  ‘Look what we’ve done.’  They are proud of their own activities.  Oh, this is good.  [Empower, not enable].  We are making progress.

The Salwens asked five questions before committing to their work in Ghana:

  • Will our work empower or be a Band-Aid?
  • Do we respect the culture? Do we have enough humility to see our new partners/recipients as equals?
  • Are those partners fully engaged in designing the project?
  • Are we doing this work for the same reasons as our partners, the folks we’re trying to help? Do we have a different agenda?
  • Are we committed for the long haul?  Change does not happen overnight.

Steep learning curve, for me, anyway.  But each of us can make a small difference.  Lots of small differences will result in change!

If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.  (Anita Roddick)

To enable or to empower … THAT is the question.  🙂

 

March 14, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Book Review, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Finance, Food, Freedom, God, Health and Wellness, International, Introspection, Leadership, Love, Mind, Money, Passion, Peace, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Success, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dare to Live Outside of the Box

“That’s not what society says,” “No one has ever done it before,” “That’s not what the educated and the well-connected say.”

SO WHAT?  All the more reason to do the unthinkable!

“Leigh Anne Tuohy manages to do what she wants to do in the way she wants to do it.  She doesn’t care what it takes or how she has to do it but she does it her way … I’ve never met anyone like that before.” (Sandra Bullock)

“Anytime anyone does something unconventional, you have to think about the reality of that (action). Usually, (change) starts with someone who can look at things differently … what if …” (Ray McKinnon)

Stand on the sidelines or get inside the ring — the choice is ours.  🙂

March 7, 2010 Posted by | America, Art, Attitude, Beauty, Change, Christianity, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, God, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Heart, Leadership, Love, Marriage, Mind, Movie, Passion, Purpose, Soul, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Perils of Merit Pay

We are all equal but we are not the same.

All children are not the same.  All parents are not the same.  All teachers are not the same.  All schools are not the same.  All circumstances are not the same:

“I am a teacher with 27 years of experience.  Based on merit pay, I would be paid less [than other teachers] because my students are distracted from learning.  My students experience empty bellies, ear infections, homelessness, or gunshots echoing in the night.  I would be the one paid less because I do not have a class full of native English speakers with college-educated parents.  Neither my Master of Science degree nor 27 years of experience can, in one school year, make students learn English faster, catch up to the rest, or have experiences in the world similar to children from more affluent areas.  Let the President’s and his Administrations’ children ‘walk a mile on our side of the tracks.'” (Lori Anaya, Port Hueneme, “2,4,6,8 How Should We Compensate,” neatoday, January/February 2010)

 

February 28, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Change, Education, Introspection, Mind, Passion, Purpose, Spirit | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Lower Property Taxes

If home prices fell 27 percent from the 2006 peak to the end of 2008 (S&P/Case Shiller Index), why are we seeing 12 percent increase in tax revenue for municipalities? 

Why aren’t homeowners getting breaks from property taxes?  

Human nature, perhaps.  What government worker wants to take a pay cut, especially when their source of revenue is property tax?  I certainly wouldn’t.  Would you?

The tables turn, however, when we’re on the other side of the fence.  CNN Money.com  informs what homeowners can do to appeal property assessments in any year:

  1. Check the accuracy of your official property record, available online or in the assessor’s office.  Factual errors aren’t uncommon.  For example, if your house has three bedrooms rather than four, your taxes can get lowered immediately.
  2. Gather info on comparable homes using real estate sites or contact your realtor.  Look for homes within a mile of your address that sold within two months of the municipality’s assessment date (usually Jan. 1).
  3. Informally discuss findings with the assessor.  If meetings go nowhere (with so many angry taxpayers, there’s no guarantee we may even get a meeting), appeal ASAP.  If you can’t get a date until after taxes are due, pay up; get a refund after winning.
  4. If you lose, get a property tax attorney.  Ask for contingency.  Avoid hourly fees of $150 to $400.  Most demand half of your first year’s tax savings.  If you win, those savings should accrue for years to come.

Bottom line, time, research, and perseverance just might yield desired results.  🙂 

 

February 21, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Business, Change, Finance, Money, Self Help, Stress | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Democracy and Islamic Sharia Law — Can They Coexist?

You decide:

  • Democracy —  a : government by the people; especially rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
  • Sharia — Islamic law based on the Koran.
    Imposes theocracy over democracy, its abuse of human rights, its institutionalized discrimination, its denial of human dignity and individual autonomy, its punishment of alternative lifestyle choices, and for the severity of its punishments (Iran, Afghanistan’s Taliban — you get the picture). (Full Story)

An individual who chooses to immigrate to another country should respect the language, custom, and the culture of his adopted nation; just as a guest would respect the ways of his hosts when invited to their home. 

Preserve your culture at home.  Outside of the home, assimilate.  It was your choice to come to our country.  No one dragged you here. (Full Story)

Democracy and Islamic Sharia Law will never coexist. (See also Why I Renounced Jihad).

January 16, 2010 Posted by | America, Attitude, Education, God, Introspection, Islam, Soul, Spirit, War | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment